By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Lady Gaga’s mother has said the singer experienced unkindness and bullying from her peers growing up which later led the pair to set up a foundation which works with young people to create a kinder and braver world.
The pop superstar, 35, has been open about how her mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety, were largely due to cruel treatment while growing up.
Alongside her mother, she went on to create the Born This Way Foundation, which aims to demonstrate the power of kindness after she shared her experiences with young fans and they related to it.
Gaga is among a host of famous faces selected as part of Hello! magazine’s 2021 Kind List, including Sir David Attenborough, Marcus Rashford, Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce and The Queen.
I had the honor of spending time with young people who were vulnerable with me and each other about their journeys finding themselves, their experiences supporting their mental health, and the great importance of kindness. pic.twitter.com/XU65ZxISq3
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) November 8, 2021
Gag’s mother, Cynthia Germanotta, said: “My oldest daughter Stefani, who you may know as Lady Gaga, began struggling with mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety, at a young age.”
Speaking to Hello! magazine, she added: “These issues – that she still admits are part of her journey – were largely a result of the unkindness and bullying she faced from her peers because of her uniqueness.
“In reflecting back on this time, she speaks about noticing an absence of kindness and sense of understanding, things which she now understands would have helped her during the very important development period of middle school.
“As painful as this time was for her, she has always been open and honest about her experiences.
“When she began bravely sharing her stories on stage early in her career, she connected with young fans who were experiencing the same things she did.
“These conversations ultimately prompted us to co-found Born This Way Foundation.”
English singer Alesha Dixon reflected on the warmth and kindness of Beyonce, adding: “I have met her a few times and she is consistently nice and just very sweet.
“I think she is a great example of somebody who has arguably achieved more than most human beings.
“She is at the top of her game, one of the most successful and powerful women in the world, but when you meet her there is a humility and kindness and warmth that exudes from her, and I think that is a really strong lesson for lots of people.
“I think she is a wonderful example of somebody who is hugely successful and beautiful and that is quite rare.”
Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar made the Kind List in the Hollywood category, alongside the likes of Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Hudson, Meryl Streep and Jane Fonda.
Gellar, who has two children with her Scooby-Doo co-star Freddie Prinze Jr, said kindness is the most important value in their household.
She added: “We talk to our children all the time, and I always say that I don’t care if they’re the smartest in the class, I don’t care if they’re the fastest, I care that they’re kind.
“And that is a word that we use a lot in our house – to be thoughtful of the people around you and take that into consideration.”
Hello! magazine is launching the second year of its Kind List on November 13 to mark World Kindness Day.
The list reflects its choice of some of the kindest celebrities, royals and influential people around the world who inspire people with acts of kindness and generosity.
The full list can be found on the Hello! magazine website.